It seems appropriate to launch Occupy Journalism on this day after the New York Police Department conducted an overnight raid to remove the Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park.
Firedoglake reports that police prevented journalists from seeing what was happening. (The use of pepper spray and batons makes the city look bad.) A Mother Jones reporter was able to sneak in and see the action before being dragged away. FDL reports that at least five reporters were arrested. A Village Voice reporter told officers she was a journalist, to which one reportedly replied, “Not tonight.”
Predictably, Fox News’ Fox and Friends ran the tagline “Good Riddance.”
The New York Times, also predictably, spent most of the article regurgitating Mayor Bloomberg’s rationale that the police action was taken for health and safety reasons, and that people should be reassured that “New York City is the city where you can come and express yourself.” Which leads me to suggest that there is a bridge in Brooklyn you might like to buy while you’re at it.
If burning a flag is protected under the First Amendment as symbolic political speech, then pitching a tent to protest Wall Street’s looting of the economy certainly qualifies.
On the Al-Jazeera English site, blogger Danny Schechter notes you can’t evict an idea.
The Guardian had the good taste not to quote Mayor Bloomberg’s nonsensical propaganda, but instead noted that New York City councilman Ydanis Rodríguez was among the roughly 200 people arrested during the overnight raid.